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Will BAFTA Awards predict who'll win the Oscars?

February 8, 2009 |  6:32 pm

By winning best picture at the BAFTA Awards, "Slumdog Millionaire" just became the second film, after "American Beauty," to sweep the top prizes from all of these awards: Golden Globes, National Board of Review, Critics Choice and the four guilds — producers, directors, writers and actors (ensemble award at SAG).

Last year "No Country for Old Men" won all of those prizes except BAFTA and the Golden Globe — "Atonement" claimed both of those best-picture prizes. In 2005, "Brokeback Mountain" nearly pulled off such a sweep, but National Board of Review went for "Good Night, and Good Luck," and "Crash" won best ensemble acting at SAG.


This impressive derby trot by "Slumdog Millionaire" does not come close to matching the greatest sweep ever in the history of showbiz awards — "Schindler's List" (1993). Back then, the SAG ensemble award and Critics Choice Awards didn't exist, but it swept up all best-picture prizes from every other major Hollywood awards group. It even pulled off a rare sweep of the critics trifecta: New York Film Critics Circle, Los Angeles Film Critics Assn. and National Society of Film Critics. All three disagreed this year. The Angelenos picked "Wall-E," New Yorkers got "Milk" and the national society danced off with "Waltz With Bashir." Curiously, all three critics' awards went their own way in 1999 when "American Beauty" paved the way for "Slumdog Millionaire's" romp at other top awards this year.

Ever since BAFTA moved up its awards calendar in 2000 so that its ceremony would precede the Oscar show — and therefore, presumably, influence it — the two awards agreed only twice on best picture: "Gladiator" (2000) and "Lord of the Rings: Return of the King" (2003).

However, they've overlapped much more frequently in the acting races: 18 of the past 32 performance awards. Most impressive is that they agreed completely over the past two years. What about now?

Three of the four stars hailed as the Oscar front-runners by most award gurus came through at BAFTA: Kate Winslet ("The Reader"), Heath Ledger ("The Dark Knight") and Penélope Cruz ("Vicky Cristina Barcelona").

However, Sean Penn ("Milk") lost to Mickey Rourke ("The Wrestler"). Both have won top awards during the derby so far: Penn bagged SAG, Rourke claimed the Golden Globe. Both have momentum and mega-buzz. By boosting "The Wrestler" star, this BAFTA victory turns the Oscar best-actor slugfest into a real heavyweight bout.

Beware: Over the past eight years, BAFTA has correctly predicted Oscar's best-actor champs only four times — but they were the past four champs. Four out of five nominees agree in both categories this year. Dev Patel ("Slumdog Millionaire") bumped Oscar nominee Richard Jenkins ("The Visitor") at BAFTA.

Only three of the five contenders for best actress concur, which may be significant. The Babe Factor has been a major influence on Oscar winners in recent years. Only two woman past the age of 50 won either lead or supporting over the past decade and a half (Helen Mirren, Judi Dench). One of the Oscar babes, Anne Hathaway ("Rachel Getting Married"), wasn't nommed at BAFTA and may pose a threat to Kate Winslet on Feb. 22.

Here is the L.A. Times' full report on who won the BAFTA Awards for film.


How BAFTA Awards Voting Works and Differs From the Oscars

BAFTA Awards Promise How Oscars May Play Out

Our Forum Posters Predict Who'll Win the BAFTA Awards

Photos: Fox Searchlight, DreamWorks

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The comments to this entry are closed.


BAFTA is biased. They only give it to the Americans when there are no English actors/actress to give it to, that's how they are biased.

Besides what makes Winslet think that she's entitled to an Oscar just because she was nominated 5 times without a win? What is she, a gold digger????!!!
She spoke to Glenn Close and a whole host of hollywood acress lately? They each got 5 and I don't hear them talking like they're entitled to it.

Just like to know how BAFTA is biased. The main awards followed nearly the same as the Golden Globes. Does this mean that they are biased too. Okay Winslett's performance is not the best ever, however Mr Weinstein will be the reason for its awards success. Plus if Kate wins she need not win again (getting it out the way as she always nominated and never wins).

Now Slumdog deserves every bit of success it gets and more so Danny Boyle, it has had rave reviews worldwide, and Danny's speeches are just great.

My only gripe is that 'The Dark Knight' was not nominated for best picture why? Is 'The Reader' better? The films sequences filmed in real time were amazing with little CGI used. I don't think it should have won if nominated, but to be left out is typical of the American Industry.

Finally although I am English, Sean Penn must win Best Actor. His performance is as good as it gets. And i will not be dissapointed if Meryl Streep wins.

Ray, I gotta agree with you, buddy.

Bafta is notorious for being biased towards the English. Case and point Slumdog is an English film, it won, Boyle is English and he won best director, Winslet is English she won Best Actress.

Bafta is a complete and utter joke!

Tom, I hope not. Bafta has a very "unexplained" system in place and they are notorious for giving the award to the English acter or actress over the American or whomever, whenever an Engish actor or actress is in competition with one of theirs.

I am neutral on the subject, living in America and slightly soft on the English but being neither American or English I have still noticed.

Case and point, when Streep won the oscar for her stunning performance in Sophie's Choice, when the rest of the world looked over in awe, Julie Walters won the Best Actress at Bafta and Streep was nominated.

You Americans, on the other hand, seem to be a bit more generous and big-hearted--bless your souls!

Love you!

It will be a joke if Winslet wins the Oscar for the Reader for Best Actress Lead when she won both Golden Globe and Sag awards for Best Supporting Actress for the same role.

That would be barefaced cheating.

God bless Sean Penn and all, but this is Rourke's year!

I hate this year's atrocious nominations, but at least the two best male performances have a good chance of winning.

yes! I hope this win puts Mick over the top for the big prize in 2 weeks....



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